The only thing more terrifying than realizing you’re on a motorcycle and can’t see where you’re going is realizing you’re on a motorcycle and no one can see you. Here are some tips help keep you safe when you ride in low sun.
Look toward the direction of your shadow, that’s the direction people can’t see you from.
If your shadow is in front of you, the sun is at your back which means it is directly in the eyes of oncoming traffic. Likewise, if your shadow is behind you, the sun is in front, making you almost invisible to the traffic that is following you.
Use a photochromatic lens or, better yet, a clear visor with a piece of tape across the top.
The tape will act like the brim of a hat, shading your eyes from the sun without impairing the vision from the rest of the visor. Either way, a clear lens is best because your eyes actually have a more difficult time adjusting to the light at dusk than they do at night.
Stay to the outside of the lane when stopping.
For those of you who live in those silly states where it’s illegal to lane split (ie most of you), we recommend at least pulling to the outside of the lane when stopping at red lights. This is especially true if the sun is directly in front of you, as this is when you are the most likely to be rear-ended since the car behind cannot see you.
Look for additional exits.
It’s always a good idea to have a buffer zone around you and to know where your outs are, should you need to make a quick exit from your lane position. This need is amplified when low-visibility conditions are thrown into the mix, so give yourself additional room and always be aware of multiple exits.
Slow down anytime riding conditions are not optimal, whether it be rain, fog, or low visibility. I can’t stress this enough. Yes, it’s the end of your day and that your significant other is at home waiting with dinner. Motorcyclists have a tendency to ride faster when conditions become poor because you just want to get through it. Even so, you’ll always need every second of allowable reaction time when that van driver that’s moving the sun shield to cover his own eyes doesn’t see you.
Avoid if at all possible.
Sunrise and sunset actually happen fairly quickly. If your commute is short and you can wait an extra 10 minutes, it’s a good idea to just not put yourself in this situation as light conditions are against you.
Share your best go-to advice for riding in low sun below.